VICTORIA, B.C. – The province of BC has decided to hold workshops for first responders in wake of fentanyl related deaths and trafficking of the drug.
Police leaders as well as drug experts have come together to develop and approve a structured 2-day workshop that will take place on June 14th and 15th in Victoria and again in Vancouver on June 28th and 29th.
Here is what the 2 days will look like:
- Day one – for police officers, paramedics, firefighters, Canadian Border Service Agency agents, coroners and other first responders – will focus on the dangers of the drug and its derivatives, as well as another toxic opioid, W-18, addressing safe handling and issues encountered at overdose scenes.
- Day two, limited to drug investigators, will cover fentanyl importation, processing, packaging, pricing and distribution, with a focus on B.C. trends. Officers who attend both days will receive certification, which will advance their qualification to give evidence related to fentanyl trafficking in court.
Money from the B.C.’s Civil Forfeiture Office is covering the $7,500 cost of the first two workshops this month, and are expected to draw first responders from throughout B.C. and the Yukon.
Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Mike Morris, says these types of courses are necessary.
“For police officers, medical personnel and the public, it’s concerning to know that, in a growing number of medical emergencies, drug users don’t necessarily know what they’ve ingested. We want to ensure that our first responders have the tools necessary to have a better understanding of these challenges. To that end, my ministry is supporting these innovative and timely workshops, which will focus on helping investigators to get more of this deadly drug off our streets.”
The government says more workshops will take place this coming fall.